SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that it will likely be "many days, not weeks" from making certain modifications in some stay-at-home orders, which have been in place for more than six weeks.
He said the first wave of businesses reopening will be retail and hospitality, including restaurants, with serious modifications.
"We're very, very close...in the course of the next week," he said, adding that he wants to be "prudent and thoughtful" in making any changes to the rules.
This change in language is different from what he said three days ago, when he made references to "weeks, not months."
On Tuesday, he said he met with members of the small-retail sector to see how they could open under certain restrictions "in the next few weeks."
Gyms, hair salons, movie theaters and venues for sporting events and concerts wouldn't be considered for reopening for months, Newsom said earlier.
Newsom's strict orders, along with health officers in Bay Area counties, have been credited as saving lives and flattening the coronavirus curve. However, to those out of work, any type of responsible relaxation of the rules couldn't come a moment too soon.
Protests are building around the state, from business owners in Sacramento who want to go back to work to residents in Orange County where the governor closed the beach on Thursday because too many people weren't social distancing.
And in the Bay Area, 71 percent of nearly 200 businesses questioned think the shelter-in-place orders should be lifted in the next 30 days, including 26 percent who want to see an end to the orders in the next two weeks.
"Many lives have been saved. But, employers are reaching a tipping point in their ability to withstand the severe economic effects of the shutdown,” said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “Public health and defeating COVID-19 must be a top priority, but we also need a clear plan for how we can begin responsibly to reopen the economy in phases over the coming weeks and months."
Newsom said that he has not been moved by protests or politics in adhering to strict rules about when to allow life to return to even semi-normalcy. He is only driven by data. And while he feels people's economic suffering, his one goal is to prevent as many people as he can from getting sick and dying.
To drive that point home, he said that more than 2,000 people statewide have died from coronavirus, including 91 in the last 24 hours.
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This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.